The Houston Rockets revealed their training camp roster on Sept. 23, and low and behold, there is the friendly name of Kyle Wiltjer hanging out there.
Training camp, of course, doesn’t mean direct access into the NBA, but it is much better than getting a Summer League invite. This means the Houston Rockets are more than interested in the overall potential of Wiltjer, and will work with him to try and mold him into a NBA player.
There is no question that Wiltjer can help out pretty much any NBA team on the offensive end. He was one of the smoothest shooters coming out of the 2016 NBA class, and he has the ability to make himself one of the premier stretch-four players in the league, in the same vein he did in college.
But of course, all of this is contingent upon how Wiltjer’s defensive mindset builds up. He was hardly a good defensive player in college, which automatically translates to not a good defensive player in the NBA. Teams will look the other way (hello James Harden and Dwight Howard) to a certain extent, but for the most part, you really have to be great offensively to ignore the other 50 percent of the game.
So for now, we will see where Wiltjer stands on all of that. Maybe he did a great job increasing his footwork speed, defensive awareness, etc. during the offseason. Or maybe he still needs a bit of work and will find himself getting serious reps during the D League season. Neither are bad options, and both are serious paths to the NBA.